I use to think, “When I have kids I knew I did not want to be the person traveling with all the stuff.” I don’t want a big stroller, a bunch of bags and things that would just take up space and weigh us down as we moved around the world.
Now that I am a Dad, when it comes to traveling and doing so in an efficient and enjoyable way I start out with a few questions for myself. “What are the things that I need on the plane on a flight longer than an hour and a half?” I need headphones, my iPad and my phone. They are the only things that I, Shaun T, need in my bag. For the kids, they are still in diapers so I need a set of diapers, wipes, pacifiers, food for them, maybe a cooler and an empty ziplock bag that I can put ice in after I get through security for the cooler. We love the Doona car seat stroller. It is a car seat that converts into a stroller and its perfect. You stroll your kids through the airport, collapse it when you get on the plane and it fits as a car seat for the kids on the plane, there is no extra. It makes it a smooth situation when you have everything you need for your baby in your bag and the car seat and stroller in one. I am not into taking things that you have to take apart. You want to be as efficient as possible.
We are currently prepping to travel for two months around Europe for my Shaun T Trains Europe 2 Tour and here are a few tips I am implementing to make sure this travel goes off without a hitch.
Take an overnight flight.
If you have sleep trained your baby well then they will sleep through the flight. Sander sleeps 12 hours straight, he does not care. He is like you don’t wanna talk to me I don’t wanna talk to you. Silas will wake up a couple of times in the middle of the night but overall he is fine. Overnight flights are our go-to for long travel because it helps us manage the boys as most of the time they are asleep.
Easily collapsible baby items.
Now that Silas and Sander have outgrown the Doona car seat, we found a new stroller that collapses down completely and fits in the overhead bin on planes. There is not waiting to check the stroller at the gate, waiting to get the stroller when we land or waiting on the stroller to go through customs. It is with us at all times making it very easy and efficient to move about while flying. We recently found a completely collapsible car seat that also fits in the overhead bin. When parents travel on plans they are able to bring 4 items and with the car seat, stroller and my bag I only have 3. I get the most function and use out of the most minimal items which are great.
Know your child’s schedule.
On the flights back there tends to not be an overnight flight we can take so this is when knowing your baby schedule comes in handy. We try to book flights around nap times, especially if they are longer flights. Our boys don’t get screen time during the day and because of this, they are used to enjoying books.
We invested in infant/toddler headphone that controls the decibel of sound to be safe for their ears and 20 mins a day we are training them to sit still and watch their educational shows on their iPads. Now, when we do get on the plane they are used to reading their books and then watching their shows. They are able to do this in the confines of their seats, keeping their headphones on.
The key to traveling with kids is purely in the planning and prep. It’s hard when your kids have never been exposed to traveling and then you book a flight next week. They don’t know what to do and it’s hard, but if you start prepping your kids for the travel and specifically the conditions of traveling you are better able to manage the experience for them and you.